The whirlwinds of Elysium: A catalog and meteorological characteristics of “dust devil” vortices observed by InSight on Mars | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS

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  The whirlwinds of Elysium: A catalog and meteorological characteristics of “dust devil” vortices observed by InSight on Mars

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Icarus, Volume 355, p.114119 (2021)

URL:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103520304632

Keywords:

Convective vortices, Dust devils, Mars atmosphere, Statistics

Abstract:

<p>A catalog of convective vortex encounters recorded by InSight on the Martian surface is presented, through Sol 390 of the mission. The catalog summarizes key meteorological parameters such as wind speed and direction before the event, peak wind, the duration and magnitude of the pressure excursion, temperatures and solar array data where present. Additional seismic parameters are also provided on seismometer-detected ground acceleration. The catalog is intended as a resource for vortex population studies, and as an index for examining these meteorological events in detail and to assess possible geophysical (seismic or magnetic) signatures. Whereas it is difficult to evaluate ‘anecdotal’ results in small surveys, the large number of events (853 with a pressure drop exceeding 0.8&nbsp;Pa) in this work permits robust statistical evaluation. For example, it is found that three times as many pressure profiles have slower onsets than decays than vice versa, indicating an asymmetry in the surface pressure field due to the tilted advection of the vortex by ambient wind. A vortex area fraction of 0.07% during the most active six hours of the day is deduced.</p>